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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . .

Page.. 2557..


working on improvements to processes associated with the provision of land for the new non-government school sector, and it talks about an expression of interest process that will make sure that that distribution of land is equitable and fair.

My only comment on this is that, whilst I am very pleased that this is agreed by the government, this working on improvements to processes has been a long time in coming, and I would encourage all sides of that discussion to really knuckle down and get on with it. You need at least a five-year horizon to plan for a new school. That means that, to have a new non-government school in any of the greenfield sites, the land needs to be acquired now so we can have kids in that school in five to six or 10 years time.

It is an important element of service provision for our growing city. I am pleased that it is recognised and agreed by the government. I will be watching with interest to make sure that there is no further delay and that a good, solid land release program for non-government schools is facilitated.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Environment and Planning Directorate—Schedule 1, Part 1.9

MR COE (Ginninderra) (9.11): The ACT planning system is in need of reform. Unfortunately, this government keeps making it worse.

The lack of consultation with industry and the community in this space is becoming emblematic of this government's approach to governing. Whether it is a change to legislation, a major project or a change to the territory plan, it seems that with pretty much every major decision the government take, they refuse to actually listen to the people it will affect.

In March this year, one such example arose when Minister Gentleman announced that the government was considering expanding development to west Tuggeranong next to the Murrumbidgee River. Plans had supposedly been developed for a suburb called Thompson. However, the government actually had not done much research—it pretty much had not done any research. It was, in effect, just a media release. Since announcing the proposed development, the government has encountered pretty strong community opposition. Perhaps, if the government had been open with the community about its plans from the very beginning, we would not be in this situation.

Madam Assistant Speaker Lawder, as I know you are very much aware, there is a need to get more people in and around the Tuggeranong town centre, but it has to be the right development at the right time. Unfortunately, when you try to do planning by way of a media release with nothing backing it up, you get into problems.

Another such example is the government's attitude to the territory plan variation for Red Hill, draft variation 334. The government proposed to allow buildings of up to six storeys in the middle of an established suburb. The proposal would have been entirely out of place. The community was strongly opposed to such high density development, and a large number of submissions were made by the community in response to the


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